Christmas Shopping Guide....FOR BABY BOY

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

...FOR BABY!!!

Since Harrison will be almost 10 months on Christmas day, we won't be getting him a ton this year simply for the fact that he won't remember any of it and he'll probably enjoy trying to eat the wrapping paper more than the actual present ha!  He'll get a few necessities, a few toys and books, and one big present--which is exactly what this list will consist of.  He also is ready to transfer over to a convertible carseat (😭), so while that's a purchase I'll probably make on Black Friday, the jury is out at to whether we use it when we get it or wait until after Christmas.

If there's anything that you've gifted your kids before that worked well that I don't have listed, please feel free to leave it in the comments!


  • New pajamas--I absolutely love all pjs from this brand!  I like to buy them a little big (in this case, a 12-18 month) because even when he grows, these stretch so well with him.  Also, I learned really quickly that zippers are a must now that he's mobile and antsy during diaper changes ha!
  • Dress shoes--One great thing about having a boy is that I don't have to buy a million pairs of shoes!  This past summer, Harrison had two pairs of sandals that went with every outfit he had...and he probably could have gotten away with just having one pair.  This winter, he's got one pair of all white saddle shoes and I've got a black and white pair on order.  This ecru color is perfect for spring and Easter.
  • Play clothes--I've been on the lookout for cute clothes that Harrison can wear to his school that would be totally fine if he gets spit up stains on them.  These are a few things I've found that I can buy quickly online--one, two, and three.
  • Feeding--I want to get Harrison this fork and spoon set so he can practice feeding himself.  I also really like these fresh food feeders.  I know these snackers are in our future, so I might as well go ahead and get them, too.



I've wanted to get Harrison this chair for the longest, so Santa will be leaving this at our house this year!

Friday Faves!

Friday, November 1, 2019


Our school district made today a virtual day for students, so I've got meetings all day while students get to ride off their sugar highs at home haha!  Last year they did this virtual day on Halloween and I think they learned this year to make it the day after Halloween.  Each school is doing something different and my school has students out job shadowing today, so I can't wait to hear all about it on Monday.

It's been a while since I blogged so lets get to my FAVORITES!

On Facebook for the month of November, I'm going to be posting something I'm thankful for every day.  I think I've tried doing this two other years and then I've always quit before the month is over, so my goal is to stick with it this year!
November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  I don't want Harrison growing up ever thinking he's different because he WAS adopted (remember, WAS not IS...past tense).  I want him growing up knowing how incredibly special he is because God chose him intentionally for our family.  We were matched with our first birth mother last year on November 2nd, and if she wouldn't have changed her mind last minute, we wouldn't have Harrison in our lives.  And I can't imagine life without him.  I am so thankful that God's plans are sovereign and so much better than mine.  If you've ever considered adoption, I'd love to chat with you.  Adoption is hard and costly, but also rewarding.....just like our adoption by God.

 Last Friday I celebrated my 32nd birthday and my BFF who now lives over 3 hours away mailed me a package--but not just me, she mailed Harrison something too!!!  She sent Harrison a Sir John longall (Sir John is one of my fave brands) and sent me a new cookbook!!  And those are our nicknames for each other--long college story behind those haha!

I took off on my birthday to spend the day with Dustin and Harrison and this big boy was in a GREAT mood!

Y'all, I can't believe this, but...

 ...Harrison is mobile!!!  He is army crawling everywhere and the occasionally will push himself up on all fours and rock back and forth.  He hasn't figured out how to crawl from all fours, but I expect it soon.

 Harrison's class at his school dressed up like superheroes, so he went as Spider-Man.  SO CUTE!!

And then yesterday after I woke him from a nap (he was not happy about that), he was a baby duck!  I've been dreaming of Pottery Barn Kids baby Halloween costumes for years, so I was thrilled to finally be able to buy one!

 I ran out of my Becca setting powder and went to my local Sephora where the saleslady told me it was now discontinued--WHAT?!  I had finally found a setting powder I loved, so I was not looking forward to finding another.  The saleslady suggested this Hourglass powder and I like it too (remember I used to use the Laura Mercier and it just didn't cut it for my skin).  It does a good job of keeping the oil at bay and blurring those pores.
I'm about to finish up with my current eye shadow palette--the Naked 2, so I'm going to be on the hunt for another to add to my Christmas wish list.  I love all of the colors of this Charlotte Tilbury palette, so I may ask for this.  I've heard so many great things about all Charlotte Tilbury products (just a little pricey!!), so I'm dying to try something.

My Birthday Wish List

Monday, October 21, 2019

My birthday is coming up at the end of this week 😊  I actually keep a shared google doc on my phone that Dustin has access to of things that I want.  Anytime I think of something I would really like to have, I add it to that document and Dustin checks it around holidays to help him shop.  It's worked out great for both of us because he's able to check that list without asking me what I want.  For example, this past Mother's Day he Harrison bought me the Jo Malone perfume I had listed on the doc--exact scent--and he never had to ask me any questions.

These are a couple of the things that I'd LOVE to have for my birthday in case anyone is wondering 😂  Or you might can add some of these things to your own Christmas list!

  • Wide leg pants--I used to dress up every day the first few years I started teaching and then I went through a super casual phase.  Now I'm ready to dress it back up during the week and would love these to pair with comfortable heels I could stand in all day to teach.  I like both green and navy.
  • New coat--I'm really in need of a new winter coat and while I typically only want camel colored coats, I want black in this coat.  And Dustin, if you're reading this, Nordstrom will price match so make sure JCrew has it on sale and then have Nordstrom price match :)
  • Pie dish--I use my two glass pie dishes for way more than pies, so I'd love to add another one to my collection.
  • Apple Watch--I've had my series 2 watch for a few years now and since I wear it every day, I really think it's time to upgrade.  I also think it would be neat to have cellular added so I don't have to constantly have my phone near me to have the ability to get texts or phone calls.
  • Kindle--I currently use my iPad (that's over 6 years old) to read from my Kindle app, but it's heavy and bulky if I tote it in my purse.  I think I'd like a Kindle since they are smaller and more compact.
  • Eye balm--I've seen another blogger talking about this and using it and this is a product I'd like to receive as a gift first lol!  She made it seem like a really versatile product because you can use it under your eyes before make up, as a highlighter, or be applied throughout the day over your make up to brighten up any spots on your face.
  • Nude Pumps--these are to go with my new pants at the top of the list :)  They say they are for 12 hour wear, so I hope they would be!

Friday Faves!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Happy Friday!  I can't believe October is almost over and November and December will be over before we know it.  Time flies, doesn't it?

I've got a couple of FAVORITE things to share with y'all today!

THIS DRESS.  This dress, y'all.  I had no idea the top was smocking until I had already ordered it.  I'm not a fan of smocking on myself, so I wasn't thrilled.  Once I tried it on though, it's so unnoticeable that it's my new favorite dress!  It also comes in navy, too.

 I also got this dress and wasn't expecting to love it so much too!  I've gotten a ton of compliments on it.  It's true to size (so is the other one).  This also comes in another pattern, but I thought this looked better for fall and winter.

(Picture me yelling that ha!)
This time with Harrison is flying by and makes me want to cry just thinking about how much I love him.  He's started a new thing when he gets really excited to see me or when I pick him up and he puts both hands on the back of my neck (pulling my hair while he's at it) and then puts his mouth right up to my neck or chin.  It's the cutest thing and I'm going to pretend it's him kissing me haha!  I don't even mind that he pulls my hair out while he's doing it 😂

I finally gave in to trying essential oils after Harrison has stayed so sick since school started.  I was desperate and willing to try anything at that point.  I used to think essential oils were stupid, but I diffuse lavender and cedarwood every night in our bedroom (sometimes adding in thieves if we're not feeling well).  The first night I diffused it in our bedroom I asked Dustin the next morning what his thoughts were and he said he's never slept better.  And neither have I!  I even made my sister a roller ball for tension and sore muscles and she loves it, too!  

Life Lately!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Hey, remember me?!  I feel like I need to blow the dust off of this blog 😜

This school year has been much harder than I anticipated, so I probably won't be blogging regularly like I used to until I figure things out.  Just bear with me, please :)  I'm more active on instagram, so in the meantime, find me on there!

I was going to do a favorites post today, but I need to catch y'all up on things before I share a few favorites so I hope to have that for y'all Friday!

 We dedicated Harrison at church October 6th.  In front of our congregation and both families, we promised to raise Harrison in a home that points him to Christ and our church family promised to help us raise him.  It was the sweetest time and he entertained the congregation with his smile and his tongue ha!  This is my favorite dress right now!

 The day before my sister (who is a photographer) was doing cotton mini sessions and she had one opening so we took advantage of it!  I got this in an 11x14 so I cannot wait to get it framed!

 I got this one day from his teacher at school and died--this is his personality to a T.  I have no idea how he learned to do this, but this is Harrison 😂😂

 A shaved ice place opened up downtown so we went one Friday night.  Harrison took advantage of us look at the camera to go for my shaved ice--and you can see that Dustin got ice cream instead. 

 We had to try on our new (and bigger) Christmas pjs to see how they will fit us--I CANNOT WAIT!!!  November 1st, we're waiting on you!!

 It's been incredibly hot here, still in the 90s.  We knew a cold front was coming so when the temp finally hit the low 80s, we went for a walk!  I wanted to get a picture of him in front of the house before we went back inside, and as you can tell, he was thrilled.

 My sister turned 28!!

I still can't get over how much I love this little boy 😍

My Perfect Fall Day

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Happy Thursday, y'all!  It's the last day of our Fall Favorites link up and I hope you've enjoyed either participating or reading it!  As I was thinking about today's prompt (which I'm really excited about), I realized how different these perfect days were going to be depending upon the season of life you're in.

Since I'm in the season of life with an almost 7 month old (TOMORROW!!!!), mine is going to be way different than my life before becoming a mom lol!

I would start my perfect fall day sleeping in until 7am.  I used to enjoy waking early (as in, between 6 and 7), but now that I am no longer in control over when I wake up or if I even get a full nights sleep, I'd like to sleep until 7....uninterrupted haha!

I'd want it to be a chilly morning so I can throw on pants, grab a blanket, turn on the fire, and drink a cup of coffee.  This sounds so nice to me typing this out right now 😜 And Dustin would have Chick fil a breakfast waiting on me, too haha! 

I would also not have to work on my perfect day, Dustin would be off of work, and we'd have Harrison with us.

After I spent a lazy morning drinking coffee, playing with Harrison, and watching The Today Show, I'd get ready and we'd go out to do some fall activity.  I actually think it would be so fun to go to the zoo together.  We took Harrison this summer and it was really hot, so I'm sure it'd be really nice in the fall--plus, I'm sure there would be fall decorations. And since the weather is going to be slightly chilly, I can wear fall clothes and not sweat.

We'd make it home in time for me to take a really nice afternoon nap.  I'm talking a cold, dark room with Harrison's sound machine on (the only way to sleep now haha!).

Dinner would be pizza from Domino's or from our local pizza place downtown.  Is it crazy that pizza is such a treat to me?  And while we're eating pizza, we're (I say we're but Dustin is weird and hates movies) watching either You've Got Mail or Beetlejuice!

This may not sound like much, but it doesn't take much to please me these days.  Any day that I get to spend with my boys is a perfect day...especially if it's the whole day :)

Link up and share your perfect fall day!  I can't wait to read!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Fall Home Tour 2019

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Hi friends!!!

Sorry for my unexpected week long absence!  I'm still trying to figure out how to juggle everything and this blog often comes last--especially when Harrison is sick...again :(

Emily and I are sharing our fall home tours, and to be totally honest, mine is nothing special this year.  There are some decorations I didn't put out because I wanted something different, but it's also not a top priority to buy new fall decorations while my paycheck is still cut--thanks American maternity leave 😜  But don't worry, Christmas will definitely be over the top this year!

Come on in!
 It was in the mid-90s when I took this picture so there isn't much on our porch.  What you can't see are our fall pillows on the rocking chairs.  Mums may come later.


 I changed up the sofa table and mantle this year and am really pleased with how they look.

 Our living room looks a lot different these days--can you spot the difference?!

 I hate having a corner fireplace.  When we build again, I will not do a corner fireplace because it makes rug placement awkward.  I thought about doing a custom cut rug, but didn't have the energy to research prices and places.

 Harrison says hi!

 I only decorated this side of the kitchen because the other side is covered with bottle drying racks and formula and all the baby necessities.

We do secret pals at school and my secret pal gifted me with some fall decorations, so I added them to our bedroom!  I love both of them--especially since the pumpkin lights up, too!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Fall Fashion!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Happy Thursday!!!

Today Emily and I are discussing Fall Fashion, so I'm going to pretend it's not 95 degrees out (like it currently is) and pretend it's 60 degrees instead!

I've been pinning a few fall inspiration looks.  I'm pretty much getting away from printed clothing (except for a few pieces) and leaning more toward solids.  Y'all know my love for Meghan Markle, and if you take a look at her clothing from the last 7 years or so, you'll notice a shift toward solids.  While I love prints, like Lilly Pulitzer, I'm finding as I get older, the more I love solid pieces because they tend to look more classic.

Today I'm sharing a few of my fall inspiration looks and links to similar pieces!

What article of clothing are you looking to invest in this fall?

Link up with us today and don't forget to join next Thursday, too!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Adoption Q&A

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Last weekend I asked for questions regarding adoption, so I'm answering those today!  I really didn't know a lot about the process before we started and I have learned SO MUCH since experiencing it.

1.Best part? Easiest? Hardest?
The best part is having Harrison!  I don't know if there's an easy part to adoption.  It's all pretty difficult...from the paperwork, money, decisions, etc.  The hardest part was waiting and feeling like you were at the mercy of someone else waiting on them to pick you.

2. What made you choose domestic over international?
Lots of prayer, but we really wanted a newborn baby.  We knew domestic would allow that, so that was our only criteria.  We were open to any race.

3. Would you adopt again?
Yes!!!  Although probably not in the same way since it was extremely expensive.  I say all this knowing that God is in control of how our family is built, but I desperately desire to give Harrison a sibling (or two!).

4. What is your relationship like with the birth mom now?
Very good!  We were blessed with an amazing birth family.  Dustin and I were so nervous to meet Harrison's birth parents the day we got to the hospital, but our conversations with them were so easy and flowed so well that we knew we'd be friends forever.

5. How did you pay for the cost of the adoption?
Once we decided to adopt, this was something Dustin was the most nervous about because adoption is EXPENSIVE.  Our goal was to fundraise $35,000 and at one point, someone close to us was skeptical of our adoption goal because they thought it was excessive--I'm not sure if they thought we were going to picket the money????  But $35k was not our max budget for the adoption, it was our fundraising goal because we felt we could swing the rest of the cost with our savings.

God blessed us with some really amazing people who gave sacrificially to our adoption.  Sometimes we would get money from people we hadn't talked to in forever!  Then we had a few fundraisers (t-shirt sales, bbq plates, mini photo sessions, yard sale) and those were pretty successful.  I applied for multiple grants and we received 3 small ones (we didn't really qualify for many grants, unfortunately).  And then we ended up taking out a loan for the rest of what we owed.

6. Scriptures to pray regarding adoption
Praying Scripture was the only thing that kept me sane some of the time.  The one Scripture that I repeated constantly (and even kept on an index card in my purse) was Isaiah 26: 3-4 "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trust in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."  I needed to rest in the truth of keeping my focus on God and not myself or our situation because I worried and stressed at times.

7. When the first failed match happened, you mentioned losing money.  Can you explain that?
When you adopt domestically, some of the cost is paying for the birth mother's (or family) rent, utilities, groceries, cell phone bill, maternity clothing, etc.  The federal government views that as a gift, so if a match fails, that money can't be given back because it's a gift.  You also lose any money paid toward lawyer fees, paperwork fees, agency fees, etc.  We lost a good bit of money when the first birth mom changed her mind, and while it was hard in the moment, if she didn't, then we wouldn't have Harrison.

8. How long did you wait for the home study to be approved?
A week or two max?  Once we mailed off our home study, it didn't take long at all--but it felt like forever when you're ready to be active haha!

9. How were you able to share photos immediately?  Most I've seen have to wait until finalized.
I've learned that each state is different with its adoption laws (and I really think it'd be nice to have one federal adoption law).  Since we follow Texas law even though we're in Alabama (since that's where Harrison was born), Texas law allowed us to share pictures as soon as his birth parents signed away their parental rights.  In Texas, that's allowed 48 hours (or 72...I can't remember??) after the baby is born.  In Harrison's situation, we got to him when he was 4 days old so we were able to share pictures immediately.

10. Do we go with private agency or state-based?  Or foster to adopt?
I think that all depends on your budget and your availability.  I would suggest talking with people who have adopted from different outlets to see what would fit your family best.

11. What was the most unexpected part of the adoption process?
I've mentioned this before, but I was so ready for us to be considered "active" which meant that we would see profiles of birth mothers and say yes or no to showing them our profile book.  I was pretty naive and didn't think about the hardships and tragedy that brought upon adoption.  I remember getting the first emails and opening them while sitting at the kitchen table, reading them, and then crying because of the situation of why these women were choosing adoption.  That prompted me to not only pray over our yes or no for each situation, but to also pray for all birth mothers of cases we read because their lives were hard.

My Thoughts on Adoption

Monday, September 9, 2019

Adoption is a beautiful thing. 

 It is a beautiful earthly picture of the Gospel--in which, dead in our sin with nothing in us able to ever bring us into a relationship with God, God adopted us into His family through the payment of His son, Jesus Christ's, perfect and sinless blood.

And adoption is also a very hard thing.  

It's born out of brokenness and hardship.  And when sin entered the world through the fall of man, the need for adoption entered the world, also.

There are so many times when I'm holding Harrison or just looking at him (or even a picture) and I think about how my life would have been if I had been in control of how our family was built.  We would have had a baby biologically many years ago and the idea of adoption never would have crossed my mind.  But God, who always knows best, in his infinite sovereignty saw that it was most glorifying to Him to build our family through adoption.  And I am so glad it happened that way!

I look at Harrison and so many times I can see traces of his birth mother or birth father in his face, and it's a forever reminder of the precious gift they gave us.  It will never be lost on me that I became a mother because of the selfless choice of another.  My love for Harrison was immediate.  His birth mother took us to meet him in the NICU and once I looked into his bed and saw that tiny, 4 pound baby, I loved him more than I ever thought was imaginable.  It's so crazy to think that now that he's 6 months old, my love for him now is even more than it was then.

I also think that the struggle to even expand our family have given me a different perspective than those who easily plan out their families.  I cherish every moment with Harrison.  The sleepless nights, while difficult, weren't something that made me complain about being exhausted because I never thought I would get to experience that exhaustion.  That's a perspective that I always want to have.

Hear this--I'm not saying that adoption was our #2 choice or our Plan B, but it wasn't something that ever crossed my mind until one day it did.  And once it did, I couldn't stop thinking about adoption.  It's like the Lord had planted a seed in my heart a year before we even started pursuing adoption (actually, during our 2nd IVF round) and once He did, adoption was all I could think about and all I could pray about was to ask God for clarity because I felt so conflicted.  And just because we've adopted, doesn't mean that I still don't grieve that my body couldn't do what it was created to do.  I don't think there's anything wrong with grieving what I thought would always happen while still rejoicing that I have Harrison because I wouldn't ever change that.

I also really love that our family isn't made up of the same ethnicity.  Why should it be?  If Heaven is filled with believers of all ethnicities worshipping God, then why not let our earthly families reflect that?  

Our adoption was finalized on Wednesday, September 4th.  We had no idea it was happening that day (Texas law is weird), so I opened my email at lunch and read the email from the lawyer letting us know the judged signed the decree that morning.  Finalization not only means that we are done with social work visits and monthly paperwork, but also that Harrison's birth certificate will be changed to have his name we gave him along with listing us as his parents.  While he always felt like a Shaneyfelt, it's now official!

Terminology is something that's really important that I never would have thought about had I not experienced it.  When referring to Harrison and adoption, don't say that Harrison IS adopted because that implies that it's currently happening and ongoing--say that he WAS adopted because it's something that happened once and it's done.  I don't want Harrison to be defined by adoption until he gets old enough to make that decision himself.  For more thoughts on this, read Russell Moore's book Adopted for Life because it helped me tremendously!

Okay, I know that was a lot of rambling and I wasn't really sure where I was going with his post.  I was pretty open and honest about my feelings, so I pray that it's able to help someone who reads this today!

Friday Faves!!!

Friday, September 6, 2019


This was a very short work week for me because yesterday I decided to take off today so that I could go to Harrison's 6 month well check appointment with Dustin.  I have a few questions to ask the doctor and figured it would be much easier if I were there 😀

I've got lots of FAVORITES to share with you today!!!

The first one is the best one...

There was never a question of Harrison not feeling like he was always ours, but now that his adoption is finalized, we're done with all of the paperwork and social work visits--we can just live life normally now!  His birth certificate will also be changed to have the name we gave him and our names will be put as his parents.  I have so many thoughts about this, so I'm going to be working on a blog post to share Monday--be on the look out!  If you're interested in our adoption story, start reading here and then click around!

Cannot wait for the new IVL Collective line to launch September 12th because I want these navy leggings!!!  I also want to try the sports bra (because I still haven't found one that is supportive but also comfortable).

 I love those cheeks and that focus he has!!  I also love the portrait mode on my iPhone because it makes my pictures look so much better haha!!

 This is literally a dream come true--my baby in holiday jammies!  If you know me, you know I love celebrating!  My mom picked these up from Carters, and while they are a little big on him, we're going ahead and wearing them!

Emily and I just started our Fall Favorites Link Up!  Yesterday was our fall bucket list!  Join us next Thursday for Fall Fashion!!!

Yesterday was my school's first home football game and we took Harrison.  I snapped this to show his concentration on the cheerleaders haha!  He was really into watching those girls ha!

I got this at Christmas (???can't remember) and just now ran out, so I'm picking some up today.  I love using this over my concealer under my eyes and on my nose.  It's just a really good setting powder and I like it better that the Laura Mercier translucent powder.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan